Federal primary law

Sources for federal primary law compiled by the Trial Court Law Libraries

Table of Contents



United States Code

The U.S. Code is a consolidation and codification by subject matter of the general and permanent laws of the United States.

United States Statutes at Large / Public Laws

The Statutes at Large is the permanent collection of all laws and resolutions enacted during each session of Congress. They are published by the Office of the Federal Register. 

Pending Legislation


Code of Federal Regulations

The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is the codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the departments and agencies of the Federal Government. See A Guide to the Rulemaking Process for more information.

  • eCFR: Updated daily
    It is not an official legal edition of the CFR. The eCFR is an editorial compilation of CFR material and Federal Register amendments produced by the National Archives and Records Administration's Office of the Federal Register (OFR) and the Government Printing Office. The OFR updates the material in the eCFR on a daily basis. The current update status appears at the top of all eCFR web pages.
  • CFR: Updated annually (1996-date)
    This website includes official and authenticated copies of the annual published volumes of the CFR. Daily amendments appearing in the Federal Register are not incorporated into these volumes. CFR sections could be as much as a year out of date.

Federal Register

The Federal Register is the official daily publication for rules, proposed rules, and notices of Federal agencies and organizations, as well as executive orders and other presidential documents. It is published by the Office of the Federal Register.


U.S. Supreme Court Opinions

Early U.S. Reports citation conversion, Mass. Trial Court Law Libraries.
Get a U.S. Reports cite if you have a cite to one of the nominative reports, such as Wheaton or Cranch.

Google Scholar: Federal cases
U.S. Supreme Court opinions from v.1 (1754). The most recent few months are not included.

"How to read a U.S. Supreme Court opinion", American Bar Association.
A helpful resource for those who are not lawyers.

U.S. Supreme Court decisions, Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute.

U.S. Supreme Court site includes:

  • PDFs of the bound volumes: beginning with v.502 (1991). Files are very large, but are identical to the official reports, including official page numbers.
  • Oral argument transcripts: available beginning on the same day an argument is heard by the court.
  • Slip opinions: newest cases from the court.
  • "Where to find briefs": electronic versions of most filings submitted after November 13, 2017 are available through the docket for the particular case. Older briefs can be obtained through outside sources listed on this webpage.

Federal Circuit Court Opinions

Google Scholar: Federal cases
Federal Appeals Court cases beginning with v.1 F.2d (1924). The most recent few months are not included.

Federal District Court Opinions

Google Scholar: Federal cases
Federal District Court cases beginning with v.1 F.Supp. (1932). The most recent few months are not included.

United States Courts opinions
Includes opinions from 2005-date. 

Court rules

Executive orders

Contact   for Federal primary law

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